I am trying to make chicken curry my way. I have already prepared curry and now I want to add cooked pieces of chicken into it (cooked separately). I assume the chicken needs to be cooked separately, and I am not sure how to cook it. I am using boneless chicken breasts, and I want my cooked chicken to be soft and juicy.

Or should I be cooking chicken in the curry that I made? My curry consists of grinded onion, yoghurt, water and spices.

  • 2
    Have you read a few recipes for the type of dish you want to make? Even if you are not replicating a given recipe, it should at least give you an idea on possible techniques.
    – Stephie
    Dec 5, 2017 at 10:25
  • Plus, you might want to edit your question a bit. As it stands, it could be seen as “too broad”, you are basically asking about different things: Should you precook the chicken (and how), and how to get juicy chicken breast in a dish.
    – Stephie
    Dec 5, 2017 at 10:31
  • 1
    As a note, when you cook the chicken separately, it doesn't absorb the flavor from the curry, risking it being quite bland.
    – Catija
    Dec 5, 2017 at 13:52

2 Answers 2


I'd cut them in small pieces (1 or 2 cm) and quickly sauteed them (1 or 2 minutes on hot temperature) to get some caramelization and toss them in the curry to finish cooking.

Or just toss them in the curry to cook them (one less pan to clean).

  • Thank you, Max. How long should I cook them in the curry? Dec 5, 2017 at 15:31
  • Bite-sized, three minutes. Check the largest piece by breaking it in half with a fork. If that one's done, so are the rest. By 5 minutes you have pencil erasers. There's no return from that; any more & you get chalky dry lumps.
    – Tetsujin
    Jun 2, 2023 at 17:50

My personal approach is to slow cook chicken breast in whole in water, with light seasoning (some salt and minimum spices), then use the broth to cook the sauce and vegetable.

Then shred the chicken and mix the two and keep warm for a while to let the flavors soak.

The reason for this is:

1) The curry flavor doesn't penetrate the chicken much at all, so for the chicken to carry flavors it has to be shredded and fully soaked with the sauce. Cooking chicken in the sauce doesn't help with flavor much based on my experience. A thick sauce and large surface area of the chicken to absorb it is a much more effective flavor delivery mechanism.

2) There is a conflicting requirement for temperature for cooking chicken and the sauce. The chicken would need a lower temperature much below boiling temperature, while the onion, tomato, and other vegetable need much higher temperature to "melt" into the body of the sauce.

3) The choice of simmering chicken in water is more due to energy efficiency and convenience (with an electric slow cooker). Also when you keep the meat a whole piece you don't lose much juice at all, compared with other "dry" cooking method. Also since the broth goes into the final product anyway, you are not wasting anything.

4) Shredded chicken has a better texture than cut chicken.

One catch is, since all the broth goes into the product, then so does all the salt and water. You need to measure those carefully up front.

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